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Avoid these phrases while talking to an officer

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If your vehicle is pulled over by Rhode Island police, it doesn’t mean that you have done anything wrong. It’s also possible that any citation that you receive might be reduced or dismissed in the future. However, it’s still important to be courteous and polite during the stop to minimize the risk of unnecessary citations or being taken into custody.

Let the officer start the conversation

It may be tempting to ask the officer what you did wrong or go into a diatribe about how you were wrongly stopped. However, all this is likely to do is put the officer on the defensive and potentially escalate the situation. Instead, what you want to do is simply listen to what the officer has to say in an effort to keep the interaction peaceful and to minimize your risk of accidentally incriminating yourself.

Don’t agree to a vehicle search

An officer has the right to search your car with a warrant, which can only be obtained if there is probable cause to conduct the search. Alternatively, an officer can search your car if you give permission to do so. Ideally, you will wait until the warrant is issued before allowing access to your vehicle. In the event that the officer searches your car without probable cause or consent, it may be grounds to dismiss a citation or criminal charge.

Don’t admit to drinking alcohol

You may not think that driving after consuming a single drink is a big deal. However, your admission could create probable cause to search your car or to initiate field sobriety tests. Although .08% is the legal blood alcohol limit in most states, you can be charged with DUI regardless of how much alcohol is in your system during a traffic stop.

When interacting with a police officer, it’s generally best to be polite and follow instructions. Otherwise, your belligerence may be noted as evidence of impairment, which may make it harder to obtain a favorable outcome.